Linux runs everywhere - yet people remain oblivious

Today there was an article in Wired that talked about Microsoft using Linux to power their cloud computing services you can check out that article HERE ...shocking you say? well not really.
This is a bit of a rant but bear with me please...The other day I was talking to someone who actually had an Android phone and told me that they have never used Linux before...um check THIS. Anyways this discussion got me to thinking about all of the things that run Linux that people don't think about. The Android example is interesting because I would expect someone in IT to know this but the non techie probably does not care - However I will have to mention that Android is the most popular mobile OS in the world - fact
If you have heard talk of Linux whether it be from an opensource evangelist or your buddy you watch the game with you man have been told that you can do just about anything with Linux, but how far does that statement really go? Linux might be far from popular on desktop computers, but it shines everywhere else. You’ve probably used Linux today, even if you didn’t realize it.
Without even mentioning Android devices, let’s take a look at 10 interesting devices or systems that run Linux so you can get an idea of how much Linux actually affects your life.

Why Is Linux Everywhere?

Whether you know it or not, Linux can be found everywhere. There are several reasons why this is the case:
  • It is very flexible due to its open source nature, so anyone can go through Linux’s code and modify it however they need.
  • It is very portable, meaning that it can be easily used on virtually every CPU architecture.
  • It is very fast, which means that it can be used on cheaper hardware.
  • It is free, which is a good as it gets - and you are free to modify

Top 500 Supercomputers

linux_runs_supercomputers
Think no one uses Linux? Take a look at the top 500 supercomputers in the world. A whopping 96.4% of them run Linux.
There are several reasons why this is the case. Since all supercomputers are staffed with knowledgeable programmers, they can easily take Linux and make changes as they see fit. Second, because Linux can run on virtually every CPU architecture, there’s no problem with getting it to run on the more specialized hardware that supercomputers use.

Flight Entertainment Systems

linux_runs_flight_entertainment
Flight entertainment systems, the ones that allow you to watch TV shows and movies, surf the web, and play games in the comfort (heh) of your own airplane seat, commonly run Linux. Why? Because Linux is extremely flexible, fast, and it doesn’t cost anything in licensing fees. This way, airlines can create their own setups which include client systems (the ones that go into the seats and talk to the server somewhere in the plane) which include cheap hardware. Not only are they saving money with the cheaper hardware that still gets the job done, but they also save money on licensing. Imagine having to pay for a Windows license for every seat in the airline’s entire fleet!

Smart Refrigerators and Nest Thermostat

linux_runs_nest
House appliances like a smart refrigerator and or a Nest Thermostat alsocommonly run Linux. All of these devices use Linux because some sort of operating system must take care of the main applications that run on it, as well as facilitate the use of WiFi and other I/O. Again, Linux is also open and easy to configure which makes it an ideal choice.
Sadly, Linux hasn’t been put on a toaster (yet). wait actually check it

Large Hadron Collider and International Space Station

linux_runs_hadron_collider
Linux powers The Large Hadron Collider, one of the most respected scientific facilities in the world. And the LHC is hardly alone in this regard: the International Space Station replaced Windows with Linux on the computers onboard. When it comes to science, Linux is common.

Every system at Google runs Linux.

Traffic Control Systems

linux_runs_atc
Important public systems such as San Francisco’s traffic control system or the nation’s air traffic control use Linux. Such large infrastructure projects require specialized setups that Linux can fulfill best, once again because it’s flexible and cheap. This is one of the best examples of how Linux can affect your life indirectly.

Robotic Milking System

linux_runs_cow_milking
What’s the weirdest device that runs Linux? How about a robotic system for milking cows? The VMS, short for Voluntary Milking System, allows the cows to be milked when they want to, and it frees up a dairy farmer’s time quite a bit.

Conclusion

As you can see, Linux is simply everywhere. If you don’t come in contact directly on a daily basis, it certainly affects your daily life in an indirect manner. There are many more places in the world (and beyond) that use Linux, but these are what we think are the most interesting examples. Linux will only continue to spread, which is good because Windows XP-powered ATMs have got to go.

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